Thursday, October 27, 2005

Meat the Family

In the past couple of years, Jerusalem has welcomed a plethora of excellent new meat restaraunts. Olive on Emek Refaim was the herald of the revolution and has since been joined by the likes of Olive and Fish, Joy, Lugar, Gabriel, 1868 and Limonim. As a food lover, I've tried to check out as many new places as possible within a budget that also has to cover a mortgage and burgeoning shoe bill. If you search your way through my archives you'll find the evidence lovingly recorded.

In the past year or so, one of my favourite parts of town, Machane Yehuda, has been undergoing a revival and reinventing itself, vegetable stalls now finding themselves cheek by jowl with trendy boutiques, upscale delis and funky little eateries.

That these two trends would at some point come together was inevitable and thus I took great pleasure recently in making reservations at Shleifer, one of two new places in the area of the Souk that I had been looking forward to trying out.

Technically speaking Shleifer is not directly in Machane Yehuda - it is on Yafo Road a few paces away from the entrance to the uncovered Souk, but it certainly represents the revival of the same area from my point of view.

Calling through to reserve, I was warmly greeted and given exact directions for the best place in which to park and we duly found ourselves on Rechov Yafo a few doors away from th historic building which Shleifer calls home. A few steps down (wheelchair access might be a problem) found us seated in the type of old style, high domed roof, Jerusalem building that I love so much. The place is charming but small so thankfully a decision has clearly been taken that the comfort of the diners should be considered and it has not been stuffed with tables.

Shleifer has a limited menu. The bright range of starters is the more interesting part of the menu, including fish serviche or carpaccio, country liver pate and a real favourite of mine - tongue. The main courses are not quite so interesting or extensive but as I'll order a medium rare entrecote in most meat restaraunts in any case, I wasn't disappointed. As is often the case with limited menus, what there is on the menu is done well - in this case extremely so.

That Shleifer is a family run place is obvious when you come in and are greeted and shown to your table. The service is certainly not professional but very attentive and definitely familial which is in many ways a lot more pleasant - recommendations were made with a love for the food and we were urged to try each others' dishes.

We tried a variety of interesting dishes and enjoyed the ambience - our only regret was that we had managed to choose a night when there was no live jazz - we shall make sure not to repeat that mistake when we (almost certainly) go back for more.

Shleifer, 127 Rechov Yafo, 625-1969 - additional review and discounts on


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